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[Updated] How To Fix: Firewire IRQ Errors on Reboot




I've had problems with my ThinkPad T61 Freezing on me (wouldn't respond to keyboard, mouse, nothing). So I reinstalled Debian without the tlp or sensors stuff. I was back to the old IRQ problems (which turned into FIFO overrun errors if I put irqpoll in GRUB). It was just a constant cycle of problems. I finally fixed the errors but the computer is running quite sluggish now (and I haven't used it enough since to see if it was going to freeze or not - probably won't again as I'll just use it as a backup system in case my main system goes down).

Anyway, here's how to fix:

Computer: IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad T61 Laptop
OS: Debian 9 (Stretch):

Linux t61 4.9.0-3-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.9.30-2+deb9u3 (2017-08-06) x86_64 GNU/Linux

Problems:

[ 11.413790] [drm:i965_irq_handler [i915]] *ERROR* CPU pipe B FIFO underrun [ 11.678293] [drm] Initialized i915 1.6.0 20160919 for 0000:00:02.0 on minor 0
[   12.374019] i915 0000:00:02.0: fb0: inteldrmfb frame buffer device

[   11.070526] [drm] Initialized
[   11.393344] [drm] Memory usable by graphics device = 512M
[   11.393348] [drm] Replacing VGA console driver
[   11.408922] [drm] Supports vblank timestamp caching Rev 2 (21.10.2013).
[   11.408924] [drm] Driver supports precise vblank timestamp query.
[ 11.413790] [drm:i965_irq_handler [i915]] *ERROR* CPU pipe B FIFO underrun
[   11.672907] [drm] RC6 disabled, disabling runtime PM support
[   11.672927] [drm] initialized overlay support
[ 11.678293] [drm] Initialized i915 1.6.0 20160919 for 0000:00:02.0 on minor 0
[   11.743594] fbcon: inteldrmfb (fb0) is primary device
[   12.374019] i915 0000:00:02.0: fb0: inteldrmfb frame buffer device

Fix:

1. Download the BIOS Update ISO from here if you do not have the latest BIOS. To test to see if you do:

$ sudo dmidecode -s bios-version && sudo dmidecode -s bios-release-date
7LETD0WW (2.30 )
02/27/2012

2.30 is the latest. If you don't have it, get it here:

http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/downloads/migr-67989

2. Burn the ISO to a CD-ROM. I tried putting this on a USB stick and while the ThinkPad can boot from USB, it will NOT boot this particular ISO from USB. The ReadMe that goes with it also states as such. So it must be a CD-ROM.

3. Boot the CD-ROM and update the BIOS.

4. Edit /etc/default/grub so that the following line is as shown:

/etc/default/grub: GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="irqpoll nomodeset"

irqpoll is right after all, apparently. And nomodeset will remove the underrun error.

I hope this helps some folks or gives a clue as to what could be going wrong. If the laptop freezes and goes unresponsive again, I'll have to do a hard reset (holding the Power button down until it shuts off - can take 10 or more seconds for that to happen) and then dmesg to see what went wrong. But for now, this seems to at least get rid of all the errors.